Read on for more about HBO Now!
Film critic Roger Ebert once said, "We live in a box of space and time. Movies are windows in its walls. They allow us to enter other minds, not simply in the sense of identifying with the characters, although that is an important part of it, but by seeing the world as another person sees it."
HBO Now, a new standalone service from Home Box Office, offers its users just that: a window into the world that before was relegated to the financially well-off.
The service, which cost $14.99 (about £10, AU$20) per month and gives new users a free one-month trial, rolled out to Apple iTunes users with an Apple TV or devices running iOS like the iPhone 6 and iPad. HBO Now will eventually come to other services too, we assume, as HBO Go, a streaming service offered by HBO that requires an active cable subscription, is available on Amazon Fire TV devices, Xbox One, PS4, Roku and myriad other set-top devices.
Aside from seasons of Game of Thrones and Girls like you might expect, HBO Now offers dozens of movies, a plethora of its best series going back to The Sopranos and several … ahem ... "after dark" skin flicks.
We've highlighted the best of the best content below, as well as some pertinent info for what could be the biggest and brightest innovation the network has ever released.
HBO Now price
HBO Now's pricing is pretty straightforward. The service is available to US customers for $14.99 per month paid via the iTunes Store. New subscribers are given an option for a one-month free trial vis-a-vis your iTunes account.
Taking HBO up on the offer isn't without a catch: You're automatically enrolled into the program, which means you'll need to physically unsubscribe at the end of the free month-long trial to stop your card from getting charged.
Despite that one shortcoming, there's a lot to like here. Unlike its sister service HBO Go, there's no cable subscription required, nor are you locked into a contract.
At launch, HBO Now is limited to the US, unfortunately, but we've reached out to HBO to see if it has any plans to release the service in the UK in the near future.
How do I get it?
Subscribing to the service is cake.
If you own an Apple device, just head to the App Store and download the HBO Now app. From there you'll be prompted to create a new account and start your one month free trial. Apple TV users can mirror these steps on their devices.
Android and Fire Tablet owners simply need to go to their respective store fronts and download the HBO Now app. Create an account and viola! You can now watch Game of Thrones to your heart's content.
However! If you're a resident of New York City and subscribe to Cablevision, there's actually a third way to get HBO Now by adding it to your basic cable package.
If you don't fit into one of those categories, you're out of luck. At least for few months. HBO has more partnerships in the works for the Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast, but it will be some time until we see the service launch on those devices.
New content (updated September 2015)
September 1, 2015
- Blades of Glory
- Blade Runner
- Bring it On
- Center Stage
- The Departed
- The Faculty
- The Good Son
- The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
- How Stella Got Her Groove Back
- In the Heat of the Night
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show
- Staying Alive
- Thelma & Louise
- V for Vendetta
September 5, 2015
September 9, 2015
- Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Houston Texans (season finale)
September 12, 2015
- Ferrell Takes the Field
- Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
September 13, 2015
- Doll & Em: Season 2 premiere
- Project Greenlight
September 16, 2015
- Heroes Cotidianos
September 19, 2015
- Exodus: Gods and Kings
September 26, 2015
September 27, 2015
- VICE Special Report: Prisons
Best shows on HBO Now
Great original programming is HBO's bread and butter. While nearly every show deserves a call out, I feel the following are the best shows on the service.
Game of Thrones - Like Winter, you probably knew this one was coming. George R.R. Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice saga has enraptured us season after season with its brutal telling of lords and ladies fighting, conniving and … uh, kissing, to win a horribly uncomfortable looking chair. There are currently four seasons on HBO Now, with a fifth season available starting April 12.
The Wire - Shows about cops and robbers were a dime a dozen in the late '90s and early 2000s. It seems like every week there was a new crime drama that either took place in the courthouse or out on the streets where gritty, foul-mouthed badges upheld the law with a sidearm and implacable morals. The Wire is a lot like the old shows, sure, but it improves upon them by giving you truly deep characters on both sides of the law that you wanted to succeed, and some you just can't wait to see bite a bullet. There are five seasons currently available on HBO Now.
Silicon Valley - I know what you're thinking, "Nick, how can you recommend Silicon Valley when the show goes out of its way to mention TechCrunch and Engadget, and purposefully leaves out good ol' TechRadar?" Well, that's a good question. But we all make mistakes, and one day the awesome show about the people who run this crazy region will recognize true technology journalism when it sees it. You may as well start watching this excellent show right now, however, as that day could take awhile. There is currently one season on HBO Now with a new season set to debut April 12.
Want even more streaming shows? Check out our list of the best online video streaming services, Hulu and Hulu Plus: the latest TV shows and movies to stream, new shows and movies on Amazon Prime Instant Video and list of new shows and movies on Netflix.